Spring Lake’s Billy Belcher was just happy to qualify for the Division 2 individual state finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills last season.
Now, the senior heavyweight is on his way back and is intent on accomplishing a lot more than just making an appearance.
Belcher clinched a regional championship on Saturday at Fruitport High School, but had a pair of tight matches on his path to the title. He opened with a pin against East Grand Rapids’ Ian Chappel, but then gutted out a 4-2 decision against Allegan’s Jon Krcatovich in the semifinals.
In the finals, Belcher overcame Hamilton’s Corey Hassevoort by a 4-0 decision. Belcher improves his overall season record to 42-2.
Belcher was one of just two Lakers to move onto the Palace, joining 215-pounder Shane Skorupski, who finished fourth. Skorupski lost his first-round match to the class’ eventual champion, Lowell’s Taylor Kornoely, but the Lakers’ senior battled back with a pin of Grand Rapids Christian’s Nick Hein to earn a trip to the state finals.
Fruitport had a strong day in its home gym, as the Trojans will send four wrestlers to the finals.
The Trojans had three wrestlers place third — Alex Foster at 125 pounds, Tommy Martinez at 130, and Austin Fialek at 152. Also advancing was Collin Butler, who took fourth at 145.